Thoughts on the Massage Therapy Profession
There are many reasons why massage therapy appeals, but one of the top reasons is flexibility.
Flexibility is appealing for many who are looking to expand their horizons in other ways as well. Taking a gap year, having children, or even going back to school can be much more manageable with a job that can be done three hours per week and still bring in a decent wage. Whether you're getting ready to return to work, or just start practicing, here are a few suggestions for the next phase of your career.
Physical health and fitness - We have a physical job. Couch potatoes or weekend warrior, increasing work hours will demand an increase in physical fitness. Even if you train for it, be prepared for some return to work pains as your body adjusts. If you wear shoes, make sure that you have a decent pair for work, or that the surface you work on won't drain you.
Personal growth - Like homeostasis, work/life balance is a figurative ideal, which requires constant adjustments and monitoring. If returning to work after changing family circumstances, take into consideration your mental and emotional capacity as well. The days where you have less focus or energy for work, remember that there are other gifts you now bring to the table. Don't try to become your past self. Embrace the possibilities and awareness that your "break" has given you, and channel that energy into your current practice.
Recovered from surgery or illness? - You come to the table with firsthand knowledge of the pains, recovery, possibilities and limits of our health care system. Your experience may have alerted you to other treatment options in your area, support groups, etc. Within the limits of our scope of practice, be generous with your new knowledge.
Professional requirements - Take some time to review your associations standards of practice and code of ethics. Get out your textbooks and have a read through the body systems, indications and contraindications, and spend some time with your anatomy books. A refreshed memory will help with explaining clinical findings to your patients.
While massage therapy was a bit "out there" still when I started applying for school, it did fit my requirements for work. I didn’t know what life would bring, so flexibility was paramount. That flexibility has proved to be a life saver over and over again, and made it possible for me to keep doing massage.
In health, MTSO staff.